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The dispute over charging for the delivery of digital and box office-pickup tickets has crossed the Atlantic, with promoter Evenko facing a class action in Quebec
By Jon Chapple on 22 May 2018
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Quebec-based national promoter Evenko, in the latest legal controversy around charging ‘delivery’ fees on digital tickets.
The suit – filed in the superior court in Montreal last Thursday by Jeffrey Orenstein of Consumer Law Group (CLG), against Evenko parent company L’aréna des Canadiens Inc. – disputes four charges levied by Evenko: the ‘Electronic Ticket’, ‘Will Call – Box Office pickup’, ‘Mobile Ticket’ and ‘Ticketless’ fees, which it describes as “disproportionate, exploitative and abusive”.
Despite charging consumers between C$5 and $7 (US$3.90–$5.50), Evenko’s fees “bear no relation to the underlying cost of sending an electronic ticket or allowing a customer to pick up the ticket (which is either $0, minimal or already factored into the ticket price that defendant [Evenko] charges to consumers”, says Orenstein.
According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2017, Evenko sells its tickets through AEG’s Outbox platform.
“These fees are nothing more than a cash cow for the defendant”
The action follows legal defeats for CTS Eventim in Germany and, later, Austria, over the German company’s practice of charging €2.50 for ‘print @ home’ and mobile tickets, which is “inadmissible” under consumer law, according to each countries’ respective courts.
The CLG lawsuit contrasts Evenko’s fees with those of market leader Ticketmaster, which has no extra charges (on top of the standard service fee) for mobile tickets, tickets printed at home and those picked up from the box office.
The suit additionally claims the fees are “nothing more than a cash cow” for Evenko and violate the Quebec Consumer Protection Act. Orenstein is seeking C$15 per purchase for punitive damages for each member of the class action, who number almost 400.
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